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Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, as it is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah son of ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah say, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan”.
Importance of Hajj to Muslims
As stated in the hadiths of the Prophet and the Quranic Verses, the importance of Hajj is represented in monotheism, disciplining and improving the soul in order to be able to avoid disobedience. Likewise, the benefit of Hajj in Islam purifies a person from sins and disobedience if he truly feels and intends to repent, and every step that the pilgrim takes, a dhikr that he recites, or a ritual that he performs, he receives a reward and good deeds in return, and all pilgrims feel at that time that they are all equal, with no differences between them before Allah the almighty. Hajj is considered one of the most beloved and greatest deeds for God Almighty, according to the hadiths and verses of Quran, as it was narrated Abu Huraira that Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, “What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s Cause.” The questioner again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To perform Hajj (Pilgrim age to Mecca) ‘Mubrur.
Hajj in Islam has five obligatory conditions
- Islam: Hajj is an act of worship for Muslims only, and it is not permissible for a non-Muslim to perform it.
- Sanity: As it was reported that the Prophet Muhammad, (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “There are three (types of people) whose actions are not recorded by the Pen: the sleeper till he awakes, the minor till he reaches puberty, and the insane till he regains his sanity.” Hajj is not obligatory for a person who is mentally ill until he is cured, this Hadith also includes the third condition of Hajj.
- Puberty: As mentioned in the previous Hadith, “the minor till he reaches puberty,” which means that a person must be an adult in order to perform Hajj, but a minor Muslim may perform Hajj and considered a voluntary act.
- Freedom: Hajj is not obligatory for the slave until he is freed, due to his inability, which tackled in the fifth condition of Hajj.
- Ability: This means that a Muslim must be able to perform Hajj, the ability can be condensed into three:
Financial ability– that the Muslim is able to afford the costs of Hajj in full and has more money than he needs.
Physical ability– The Muslim shall be able to bear the physical burdens of travel, by being able to walk and perform Hajj.
Security ability– that the road, travel, and going back from Hajj are safe, and if it is a woman, she must be accompanied by her mahram or her husband.
The pillars of Hajj
Hajj has four pillars (Ihram, Waqfat ‘Arafah, Tawaaful Ifaadah and the Sa’y between as-Safa and al-Marwa).
- Ihram: is the intention to perform Hajj, the scholars unanimously agreed that the Ihram is an obligation to perform Hajj, as the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Deeds are according to intentions and every person will be rewarded according to his intention”. Some consider that Ihram is the wearing of the ihram garment, but this is not true, Ihram is the intention from the heart to perform Hajj.
- Waqfat ‘Arafah: The Messenger Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Hajj is Arafat. Whoever catches up with the night of Arafat before dawn comes on the night of Jam (Al-Muzdalifah), his Hajj is complete.”, and on another hadith on the authority of Urwa bin Mudars, he said “I saw the Messenger of Allah standing in Al-Muzdalifah and he said: ‘Anyone who offers this prayer along with us and comes over to Arafat before it by night or day will complete his hajj”. Thus comes the necessity of this pillar, as the Hajj is not valid without it, so it is the greatest pillar in Hajj, standing in Arafah begins from the waning of the sun to dawn on the night of Sacrifice on the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah.
- Tawaaful Ifaadah: This pillar was mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surat al-Hajj verse 29 “Then let them end their prescribed duties and fulfil their vows, and circumambulate the House [the] Ancient.”, and this verse is an order to circumambulate, so it is an obligatory pillar. In the Sunnah, the pillar was also mentioned in an honorable hadith on the authority of Aisha, may God be pleased with her, she said: “When Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) decided to march (for return journey), he found Safiyyah at the door of her tent, sad and downcast. He remarked. Barren, shaven-head, you are going to detain us, and then said: Did you perform Tawaaful Ifaadah on the Day of Nahr? She replied in the affirmative, whereupon he said: Then march on.”, this means that the circumambulation of the Ifaadah or the visit is an obligatory and indispensable pillar.
- The Sa’y between as-Safa and al-Marwa: this pillar is imperative according to the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 158 “Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.”
An article about Eid al-Adha
Obligatory Acts of Hajj
There are seven obligatory acts of Hajj, and they differ from the pillars in that Hajj is not valid without its pillars, while the obligatory acts, if the pilgrims did not perform any of them, they must pay a ransom.
- Ihram: the intention for Hajj, it takes place from places surrounding the Great Mosque of Mecca, which are determined based on the place from which the pilgrim comes, and there are five spatial Miqats (Miqat Dhu al-Hulayfah or Abyar ‘Ali) for those who come from pass through Medina, it is 450 km away from Mecca), (“the Miqat of al-Juhfa” for those who come from the Maghreb, the Levant or Egypt, it is 200 km away from Mecca), (“Miqat Dhat Irq” for those who come from or pass through Iraq, it is 100 km north east of Makkah Al-Mukarramah), (“Miqat Qarn al-Manazil” for those who come from the eastern side, such as Riyadh, a mountain that overlook Mount Arafat and is less than 100 km away from Makkah), (“Miqat Yalamlam” for those who come from Yemen), and those who live in Makkah, their Miqat is their place of residence, and for those who come through airlines, their Miqat is one of those five areas previously mentioned when passing through one of them.
- Waqfat ‘Arafah: (the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah) starts from the sunset of the day of Arafah until dawn on the day of Sacrifice, but according to the Hanbalis, it starts from the dawn of the day of Arafah until the dawn of the day of sacrifice.
- Spending the Night in Muzdalifah: on the night of the tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah until dawn, but for those who are unable, they can leave for Mina after midnight.
- Ramy al-jamarāt: begins on the day of Eid al-Adha (the Day of Sacrifice “the tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah”), when the pilgrim throws 7 pebbles at Jamrat al-Aqaba al-Kubra, and the throwing continues on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth days of Dhu al-Hijjah, and these three days following the Day of Sacrifice are called the “Days of Tashreeq”, in the event that the pilgrim is in a hurry, he can only throw the pebbles on the eleventh and twelfth days, but in this case he must leave before the sun sets, since if the sun sets before he leaves Mina, then he must continue stoning until the thirteenth day (the third of Tashreeq days).
- Shaving or shortening: As God Almighty mentioned in the Holy Quran in Surah Al-Fath verse 27, “Certainly has Allah showed to His Messenger the vision in truth. You will surely enter al-Masjid al-Haram, if Allah wills, in safety, with your heads shaved and [hair] shortened, not fearing [anyone]. He knew what you did not know and has arranged before that a conquest near [at hand].”
- Spending the Night in Mina: The days of Tashreeq (the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth) of Dhul-Hijjah are the time for stoning the Jamarat.
- Farewell Tawaf: is a circumambulation to bid farewell to the Sacred Mosque with seven rounds, but without saa’i, then praying two rak’ahs before leaving, and that is a Sunnah from the Messenger of God because he did that upon the completion of his Hajj, for the Messenger said said “None amongst you should depart until he performs the last circumambulation round the House.”
An article about Kaaba
An article about Umrah
An article about Mecca